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TSX Ends Lower On Growth Worries

After edging up slightly in early trades, the Canadian benchmark slipped below the flat line and then stayed weak right through Thursday's session to eventually end on a weak note.

Recession fears, worries about U.S.-China trade dispute and uncertainty about U.S. interest rate cuts weighed on sentiment and prompted investors to stay away on the sidelines. Weak crude oil and gold prices hurt as well.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 55.77 points, or 0.34%, at 16,253.46, off the day's low of 16,238.42.

On Wednesday, the index ended up 0.59% at 16,309.23.

Healthcare, consumer staples, mining and energy shares declined. Shares from industrial and telecommunication sections also ended weak. Consumer discretionary, financial and information technology shares turned in a mixed performance.

In the healthcare space, Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) declined 5.2%. Hexo Corp. (HEXO.TO) and Cronos Group (CRON.TO) shed 3.4% and 2.7%, respectively. Bausch Health Companies (BHC.TO) and Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) ended lower by 1.4% and 1.3%, respectively. CannTrust Holdings (TRST.TO) gained about 4% after recent sharp losses.

Among energy shares, Enerflex (EFX.TO), Seven Generations Energy (VII.TO), ARC Resources (ARX.TO), Parex Resources (PXT.TO) and Tourmaline Oil Corp (TOU.TO) lost 2 to 4.5%. Precision Drilling (PD.TO), Encana Corp. (ECA.TO) and Shawcor (SCL.TO) also ended notably lower.

In the mining space, B2Gold Corp (BTO.TO), Methanex (MX.TO), Endeavour Mining Corp (EDV.TO), Iamgold Corp (IMG.TO), Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) and First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) lost 1.7 to 3%.

In the industrials section, SNC-Lavalin (SNC.TO), WSP Global (WSP.TO), Aecon Group (ARE.TO), Toromont Industries (TIH.TO) and Mullen Group (MTL.TO) declined 1.2 to 1.6%.

Among bank stocks, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) advanced 2.1% on strong results. The bank reported adjusted net income of $1,415 million for the third quarter of the current financial year, compared to $1,399 million in the year-ago quarter. The bank also announced that its board of directors declared a dividend of C$1.44 per share for the quarter, an increase of four cents from the previous quarter.

CDN Western Bank (CWB.TO) and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) closed modestly higher, while Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) declined more than 0.5%.

On the economic front, data released by Statistics Canada a little while ago showed wholesale Sales in Canada increased 0.6% in June, rebounding from a 1.9% decline recorded in May 2019.

U.S. stocks failed to sustain an early move and ended mixed on Thursday. Movements were sluggish due to another inversion of the yield curve, with the yield on the two-year note briefly dropping below the yield on the ten-year note.

The Dow ended up 0.2%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed lower by 0.1% and 0.4%, respectively.

Most of the markets in Europe ended weak, while those across the Asia-Pacific region turned in another mixed performance.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for October ended down $0.33, or 0.6%, at $55.35 a barrel.

Gold futures for December ended down $7.20, or about 0.5%, at $1,508.50 an ounce, the lowest settlement since August 9.

Silver futures for September ended down $0.111 at $17.040 an ounce, while Copper futures for September settled lower by $0.0280 at $2.5575 per pound.

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